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WHO or WHOM?
Contributor
Written by
Maria Murnane
February 2019
Contributor
Written by
Maria Murnane
February 2019

If there’s one grammar issue that seems to confuse almost everyone, it’s when to use WHO and when to use WHOM. Both are pronouns, but I’ve found that using the word “pronoun” in an answer tends to baffle already confused people even further, so here’s a less technical explanation: 

WHO

If you would use HE or SHE in a similar construction, then use WHO (or WHOEVER):

Gloria has no idea who wrote the blog post. (CORRECT)

  • He wrote the blog post.
  • She wrote the blog post.

 

Gloria believes that whoever takes the job will have a lot of work to do. (CORRECT)

  • She takes the job.
  • He takes the job.

 

Gloria hired the person who* she believes will do the best job. (CORRECT)

  • He will do the best job.
  • She will do the best job.

*This one is tricky because people often think, “Wait! Gloria believes him!” But in this case she does not believe him. She believes that he will do the best job. 

 

WHOM

If you would use HIM or HER in a similar construction, then use WHOM (or WHOMEVER):

I’m going to hire whomever I want.

  • I’m going to hire him.
  • I’m going to hire her.

 

Gloria and Domingo are people whom I want to support.

  • I want to support her.
  • I want to support him.

​​​​​​​

Domingo is a man whom I can see going very far in his career.

  • I can see him going very far.

 

I wouldn’t know whom to call in case of an emergency.

  • I would call him.
  • I would call her.

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

I know how vexing this topic can be, so I hope this post helps unravel the mystery for whoever reads it. 

-Maria

 

Maria Murnane writes bestselling novels about life, love and friendship. Have questions? You can find her at www.mariamurnane.com.

 

 

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